Faces of Folkestone : Rob Beach


Rob Beach, from Pole Position Driving School, reveals some top tips about how to remain calm during your driving test and reveals whether he passed first time. Read on to discover more...!


MF: Can you sum up in three words what Folkestone means to you?

RB: Community. Sea. Creativity


MF: When did you decide to set up Pole Position in Folkestone?

RB: I decided to set up Pole Position driving school in 2016. In 2019, Troy an already qualified ADI, joined as the business grew and it continues to go from strength to strength.


MF: Did you pass your driving test first time?!

RB: Yes I passed first time : ) but I remember being very nervous! I passed with 3 driving faults but I would tell people I passed with 2 because I stalled coming back into the test centre car park but I didn't count that one - HaHa. That was 18 years ago now! 


MF: Do you have any tips for any nervous first-time drivers ahead of their first driving test?

RB: I always recommend that my students have a banana before their test as it is good  for nerves apparently. Most people find playing their own music really helps too. I had a student a few years ago that really struggled with nerves and told me that he had failed three  times with two different Instructors. As I got to know him, we talked about classical music which he enjoyed so I suggested we listen to some in the car. His driving became very composed and he passed listening to Rick Wakeman piano portraits.


MF: What is your favourite driving route around Folkestone?

RB: It is difficult to say my favourite route but I like teaching in the Harbour area because it presents lots of different challenges in driving.


MF: How have you changed your approach to teaching in a new post Covid-19 world?

RB: The way lessons are conducted hasn't changed but it can be challenging to wear a mask for long periods so we built in comfort breaks within lessons just to step out of the car and remove masks.. The car has to be sanitized after each lesson especially high contact points like the steering wheel and gear stick. We provide hand sanitizer free of charge before each lesson and if students feel unwell, they are able to cancel their lesson last minute with no charge applied if it is due to Covid19 symptoms.


MF: Who is the oldest pupil you have ever taught to drive?

RB: I never ask students their age obviously but I did have a lady that explained why she had left it so late and she mentioned that she was 67.


MF: Where do you spend your down-time in Folkestone?

If I have a substantial gap between lessons, I head home to let our dogs, Buddy and Nelson, out into the garden. In the summer, I like to join them!


MF: Do you have a preferred eating spot in town?

RB: There are too many to mention them but El Cortador tapas, Harbour Inn and the Providence Inn are in my Top Three eating out destinations!


MF: What would you like to see happen in Folkestone over the next five years?

RB: I live near the East Cliff train line that runs to the Harbour Arm so I would like to see that line opened up as the rest of the line is currently out of use. It would be nice if it was similar to the coastal park with benches etc and maybe some nods to the history of the area and town. 


MF: What do you think MyFolkestone brings to the community?

RB: I think historically I have always found it difficult to find out what events are on in the town and what local businesses are offering to residents and visitors so I think it gives everyone a one stop shop of what's on and who is who around the town. It's a fantastic platform for small businesses to shout about the amazing things they do and offer. 

This year sure has been challenging what tips can you share with us if you are wanting to learn to drive in 2021?

RB: 2020 has caused the test centres a lot of waiting times and backlogs so my best advice is if you want to get going next year is to enquire ASAP. Troy and I are very easy to speak to and we don't charge for advice. A lot of people are put off learning to drive because they have heard horror stories about what instructors are like or think they will get shouted at for making a mistake. It's not like that at all and we offer assessment lessons so people can do an hour introduction with us to see what it's like or the fantastic 5 hours for £100 is a great kick-starter with lessons.